DesJarlais divorce record release could be Tuesday

DesJarlais divorce record release could be Tuesday

Posted:
Rep. Scott DesJarlais (source: U.S. House of Representatives) Rep. Scott DesJarlais (source: U.S. House of Representatives)

By ERIK SCHELZIG
Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA (AP/WATE) - A transcript from Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais' divorce case is being released but lawyers said the public may not see it before Election Day.

Attorney Gerard Stranch, who represents the Tennessee Democratic Party, and DesJarlais' attorney, Harvey Cameron, said Monday they reached an agreement to release the transcript.

Stranch said the DesJarlais camp won approval from a judge to withhold the document until the full transcript is ready. He said that won't happen before Tuesday.

DesJarlais, a freshman Republican whose re-election platform includes his opposition to abortion rights, has been under fire since a transcript emerged of a phone conversation in which he urged a mistress to seek an abortion.

The revelation boosted the campaign of Democratic challenger Eric Stewart.

The congressman has said he was only using strong language to get the woman to admit she wasn't pregnant, and that both he and his first wife, Susan, were seeing other people while their 2001 divorce was being finalized.

Desjarlais attended the hearings Monday.

"The sole reason I appeared in Chattanooga today was to protect my children from these desperate attacks being driven by the Tennessee Democratic Party, Lincoln Davis and my ex-wife," he said in a news release.

"My opponent and his far-left political allies have done all they can to make this election about everything besides my record in Congress. In fact, it seems that the only opponent that I have ever had to run against is a 14-year-old divorce," he continued.

The impact of the latest release is uncertain. More than 120,000 ballots have already been cast in the 4th District during early voting.

Portions of this report are copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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